With a major research university right in our backyard, a strong military presence and innovative companies throughout the metro region, there’s often a plethora of interesting science, medical and technology news to be found in Southern Arizona. Here’s a breakdown of the most interesting recent developments.
Imaging Success. A science imaging company has won the latest sponsored launch competition hosted by the University of Arizona Center for Innovation. QScint Imaging Solutions won the “sponsored launch,” which includes a year’s admission to UACI, valued at $10,000. QScint Imaging Solutions manufactures “digital autoradiography imaging systems” that can detect certain isotopes for use in biology, geology, geochemistry and even drug development. According to UACI, these sponsored startup competitions provide the winning startup with a structured incubation program, customized business support and the ability to work alongside other startups at the university’s tech park campus. Other tools the incubation program provides are office and lab space and assistance through a 27-point roadmap that helps them with everything from refining their business model to obtaining funding.
“QScint is incredibly excited to be joining and working with UACI. As we take these next growth steps, the amazing set of resources provided by UACI will be invaluable. We are very appreciative and truly honored for the generous support from Concord General Contracting,” said Brian Miller, president of QScint Imaging Solutions.
This latest sponsored launch was supported by Concord General Contracting, who funded the competition and helped with the winner selection process. Previous UACI sponsored launches have been fueled by the Town of Sahuarita, Freeport-McMoRan and the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce. UACI is a “startup incubator network” that offers guidance and lab space for startup companies out of the University of Arizona, as well as other businesses interested in relocating to Tucson. The UACI campus provides offices, wet and dry labs, meeting rooms and a prototyping center. But perhaps most importantly, it provides opportunities for collaboration with other startups in the network. QScint Imaging Solutions entered the UACI incubation program in August and will remain through July 2022. In addition to the program, the company will take dry lab space at UACI located at the UA Tech Park.
“Our team is so excited to work with Brian Miller and the team at QScint. Brian has already proven to be a very successful researcher and entrepreneur and we look forward to helping him through his technology validation and company growth,” said Eric Smith, executive director of UACI.
Supporting Science. The Society for Science, a national science nonprofit, has awarded two local teachers grants as part of their annual Advocate program. The organization’s Advocate Program for the 2021-2022 school year includes a total of 66 educators who received a combined $214,000: 58 Advocates received a $3,000 stipend while eight Lead Advocates received $5,000 each. Jeremy Jonas, a biology teacher at Tucson High Magnet School, is one of the Lead Advocates, while Jacqueline Nichols of Sunnyside Unified School District is an Advocate. According to the Society for Science, Advocates will encourage at least three to five students who identify as a race or ethnicity historically underrepresented in STEM, and help them enter science projects into competitions.
“In the coming school year, students and teachers will have to remain flexible during a fluctuating public health emergency,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science. “Through the Advocate Program, we hope students continue to participate in meaningful and transformative science research experiences. We hope this program continues to be a catalyst for underrepresented students to consider future STEM careers. The 66 Advocates are a truly amazing group of mentors for the next generation of scientists and engineers.”
Jonas was previously awarded the 2018 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Arizona by the National Association of Biology Teachers.